There are many different causes for hair loss. Hormones, stress, inflammation, and environmental factors are the four most common causes, but there are many other things that can affect your hair as well.
Typically, treatments made for hair loss will only target one of those causes. For instance, one of the most widely used treatments, finasteride, specifically works to block DHT, while minoxidil on the other hand is designed to increase blood flow to the scalp.
Don’t get me wrong, these treatments are great at what they are designed to do and have helped millions of people stabilize and/or beat hair loss. But, for the sake of being greedy, wouldn’t it be nice if there was an effective treatment that could target more than one cause/aspect of hair loss (specifically androgenic alopecia; pattern hair loss)?
There just might be, and that’s exactly what we are going to be talking throughout this article. There is a treatment that recently hit the market called Brotzu lotion. For those who are looking for a treatment that can benefit your hair loss in multiple ways, Brotzu lotion could be your diamond in the rough, or so they claim.
We will be taking a look at the research surrounding Brotzu lotion and its ingredients to determine how it works, if it is effective or not, and ultimately if it might be worth trying out for yourself.
What is Brotzu lotion?
Having first launched at the end of 2018 in several select pharmacies in Italy, this apparently “revolutionary” topical treatment got the name from its creator: Dr. Giovanni Brotzu, but was eventually assigned the name Trinov Lozione Anicaduta by the company Fidia Farmaceutic. For the sake of the article we are going to call it Brotzu lotion, but keep in mind that it is the same thing as Trinov.
Brotzu lotion was originally used in research involving diabetic patients, and only later was it accidentally realized that it may hold some benefits for people with hair loss. Again, it is a topical treatment, which begs the question: there are so many other topical treatments that have been shown to be effective such as minoxidil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and more, so what makes Brotzu lotion so special?
It essentially boils down to two things: the study done by Dr. Brotzu in 2019, and the unique combination of ingredients that it contains.
Let’s take a look as each one more in-depth.
2019 Brotzu study: what did it reveal?
You can take a look at a summary of the study here.
Again, this study was conducted by Dr. Giovanni Brotzu and several of his colleagues. It evaluated 30 men and 30 women, all of which had androgenic alopecia. Each subject was instructed to apply 1mg of Brotzu lotion daily for 6 months, with follow ups at 0,1,3 and 6 months. The parameters that were measured were: hair diameter, a scalp exam to look at potential side effects, and a photographic analysis to measure the number of anagen (growing) hairs vs. telogen (resting) hairs.
After the study had concluded, there were some interesting results found.
First: to many people’s dismay, there were not any significant changes in hair diameter, but the other two parameters did show promise. The scalp exam revealed that after 6 months of application there were not any notable side effects (although this should be taken with a grain of salt as there could be long term effects and the sample size of the study was relatively small). Even better was the photographic analysis which showed an increase in anagen hairs and a decrease in telogen hair in 63% of men and 90% of women.
Though this is promising, the visible results (to the naked eye) were negligible when analyzing the photographs, but there is likely a good reason for this.
It may be because the hair cycle takes a long time. Many other treatments such as finasteride, minoxidil, and most other treatments in fact, suggest that you wait at least 6 months, but closer to a year is better, to evaluate the results. This is because hair shifting from the telogen to the anagen phase can take a long time to return to their original density and show visible improvements. In a perfect world the study would have included a follow up at 12, and even better 18 months, but it didn’t.
The key takeaway here is that although the density and hair counts didn’t change markedly, the shift from telogen to anagen, especially in such a high percentage of participants, is something that not many treatments are able to achieve and is worth noting.
Brotzu lotion's ingredients
The other reason that Brotzu lotion has caught the attention of the hair loss community is because of the ingredients it includes. The three primary ingredients are: Propionyl-L-Carnetine (PLC), S-Equol, and Dihomo-Gamma-Linoleic Acid (DGLA), each of which may be able to benefit hair loss in its own way.
PLC is an amino acid that is partially involved in fat metabolism. Its primary role in Brotzu lotion is to act as a carrier agent to help the other two ingredients get metabolized (absorbed) into the scalp.
By improving the transportation of fatty acids into cells, PLC works to penetrate the scalp and reach the dermal papilla cells, and hence the base of the hair follicle, so that the other two ingredients (which we will elaborate on in a second) can be absorbed and work properly.
S-Equol is classified as an isoflavone and is derived from soy. The main key benefit it may hold is the blocking of DHT.
The mechanism behind how S-Equol blocks DHT is much different than finasteride. Instead of blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, it binds directly to DHT and neutralizes it, therefore inhibiting the potential damage to the hair follicle that would otherwise occur. Several studies have shown that it is effective at doing so.
This study showed that orally supplementing with S-Equol decreased serum DHT levels. Additionally, this study, although it was evaluation S-Equol’s effects on the prostate (prostate health and hair loss are inherently linked in case you were unaware) again found that serum DHT levels, as well as androgen hormone (i.e. testosterone) action were both decreased.
Dihomo-Gamma-Linoleic Acid (DGLA)
The third and final ingredient in Brotzu’s concoction, DGLA, is an omega six fatty acid.
DGLA is a precursor to Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) (i.e. our bodies use it to make PGE1), which is known for helping reduce inflammation, specifically around hair follicles. Therefore, in theory, the more DGLA there is, the more PGE1 will be produced and hair will be better protected against the damaging effects of inflammation.
Dr. Brotzu also claimed that PGE1 can help hair loss by increasing blood flow and encouraging the formation of new blood vessels, and there is some research supporting this notion (1,2). Albeit, more research is needed in this regard, specifically studies geared towards hair loss. If it was confirmed though, the case for Brotzu lotion would be very strong because blood flow is one of the most important aspects of re-growing hair.
As you can see, Brotzu lotion has a lot going for it.
The study that Dr. Brotzu conducted yielded good results, and the ingredients in the formula all have some solid research supporting them. There are also many images online of people that have had successful regrowth using Brotzu lotion (at least they claim that’s the only treatment they used, but you can’t be certain).
Unfortunately, Brotzu lotion is still only mainly available in Italy and may be somewhat difficult to acquire, not to mention a bottle of the stuff costs between $70-90. Although, in my opinion, if you can find a way to get it and are willing to pay a pretty penny (and also not responding to other topical treatments, which I would recommend trying first) Brotzu lotion may be worth a shot.